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TWO GOLD MEDALLISTS BATTLING FOR SOLING CLASS GOLD

by Isabelle Musy on 30 Sep 2000
© Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
German Soling skipper Jochen Schuemann will look for his four gold medal
today in the final Match Racing.

Something that only Danish Paul Elvström has achieved so far in sailing.
Jochen Schuemann will meet Denmark's Jesper Bank on Sydney harbour in what
should be a very close best of seven series final match.

Schuemann won his first gold medal sailing Finn Class in 1976. He also won
the Soling class both in Seoul and Atlanta.

Bank won gold in the Soling in Barcelona and got a bronze medal in Seoul.
Both Schuemann and Bank had a difficult qualification route as they both
struggled to make it into the top 12 in the fleet racing earlier in the
regatta.

But as soon as the Match Racing started, the two masters in the disciplines
proved to be most efficient and made their way through the round robins
showing outstanding skills.

Jochen Schuemann won his best of fives flights semi-final match against
Dutch Roy Heiner.

The German crew won 3 to 1 when the Dutch crew made quite a few mistakes.
Heiner won the first match taking over Schuemann by making him dirty air and
rolling him in the last run. After that Schuemann didn't show any weaknesses
and won the next three matches.

"We were not good enough today. All the small mistakes that can occur
sometimes among our team came out today. We had great starts but never
managed to make anything out of it. If we sail very well tomorrow we might
get the bronze", said a very disappointed Roy Heiner.

"We were physically not strong enough. Maybe we wasted to much energy and
emotion in our tie-break protest and sail-off match against New Zealand",
added Heiner.

Jochen Schuemann, who knows Heiner very well as the two men are sparring
partners, said to the Dutch skipper after the match: "Thank you for doing so
many mistakes and for making it easy for us".

"I promise that the final tomorrow will be a hot contest", added Schuemann
who is very enthusiastic about the upcoming final match.

Jesper Bank won his best of five series semi-final against Norwegian Hermann
Johannessen who came first in the fleet racing.

Bank sailed very well in the pre-start of the races and had virtually won
the last won even before the gun fired.

"The final should be very tough as I think the chances are 50-50 between
Schuemann and I", said Jesper Bank.

"We'll give an answer to that on the water", concluded Schuemann.
Norway's Johannessen will face Netherlands Heiner in a best of five matches
for bronze.
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